Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Terminally Happy Mayor of Zappos Meets Born-Grumpy Dictator of BoomTown: High Jinks Ensue!

While in Las Vegas recently, BoomTown dropped in at the HQ of Zappos, the online retailer Amazon (AMZN) bought last summer in a deal valued at about $850 million.

The company is well known for its culture of intense happiness, both in its high level of customer service and the enthusiasm of employees of the company, which started as a Web shoe retailer but has been expanding its offerings.

I can tell you first hand that I nearly went into a diabetic coma on my recent tour of the e-commerce company, led by Zappos “Mayor” Jerry Tidmore. That included a lot of sweetness from the staff, as well as way too many baked goods strewn about.

Here’s the video, in which Tidmore related to me at the end of our time together the innovative secret ingredient of Zappos’s success:

(I also did a video interview here with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh about his new book, “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose,” which comes out in June.)


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik